Customer Reviews for

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Average Rating 4
( 36 )
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(19)

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(11)

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2 Star

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Cannot-put-the-book-down plot. Characters so real their pulse be

Cannot-put-the-book-down plot. Characters so real their pulse became my pulse. 
Writing that drew me into its intricate web one shimmering strand at a time. 

A dazzling exploration using psychology, philosophy, and science to probe
the shadowy workings of the brain, t...
Cannot-put-the-book-down plot. Characters so real their pulse became my pulse. 
Writing that drew me into its intricate web one shimmering strand at a time. 

A dazzling exploration using psychology, philosophy, and science to probe
the shadowy workings of the brain, the nerve-triggered organism of family
 and, ultimately, the mysterious place that connects us all.             

posted by Anonymous on June 6, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

Worst book I have ever completed

Worst book I have ever read. HORRIBLE, BORING, PATHETIC. Sorry I spent the money on it. Who in their right mind would recommend this?

posted by 7898717 on June 30, 2013

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  • Posted September 3, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    We are all completely beside ourselves  Karen Joy Fowler  Trade

    We are all completely beside ourselves 
    Karen Joy Fowler 
    Trade Paperback 
    Publisher: A Marian Wood Book/Putnam 
    Publication Date: May 30, 2013 
    ISBN-13: 978-0399162091 
    320 pages 
    Uncorrected Proof - Advance Reader’s Copy

         Karen Joy Fowler writes some of the oddest fiction I’ve ever read. And when I say odd I mean brilliant in a slanted, quirky way. When she writes a nostalgic scene you will think of your childhood home, your grandparents, and those you loved, laughed, and played with when you were growing up. When she wants you to laugh at yourself or teases your sensibilities you will find the humor hidden in all the little crevices of humanity. When she holds up the mirror of sentiment and emotion you will see yourself in her story.

         We are all completely beside ourselves is a story of love, family, devotion, separation, and the dichotomy of life and the biased memories we make in our own minds concerning our pasts. But more than that it’s a story of social interaction and how we act, react, and interact through emotionally stressful and confusing times.

         One undeserved criticism Fowler sometimes receives is that her characters are unfinished, furtive, and difficult to connect to. Many of her characters are mysteriously, and I think, intentionally, incomplete and here’s why I think it’s the perfect approach to creating a superior character, especially in the emotionally-driven narratives Fowler creates. Humans are enigmatic and unknown even to themselves sometimes. We are flawed, we are duplicitous, and we are opinionated and often change our attitudes. We occasionally don’t know our own minds or the real reasons we say or act the way we do. We are hurtful yet full of kindness. We are truthful but lie to preserve our own slanted images of ourselves and we confuse emotions with obsessions. Karen Joy Fowler’s characters then, mirror the gaps and holes in us all. In essence she writes enormously realistic characters that remind us of our own strengths, failings, assets, and ambiguities. Simply put, she writes convincing characters as compassionate, flawed, emotional human beings.

         This is the second novel by Karen Joy Fowler I’ve reviewed. I gave the first, Sarah Canary, a high overall review rating for originality, style, and content. We are all completely beside ourselves is no less creative than Sarah Canary and is, in my opinion, a superior read well worth the time.

         File with: mysteries, animal rights, emotionally-driven narratives, the human condition, love, loneliness, and social interaction.

    4 ½ out of 5 Stars

    The Alternative 
    Southeast Wisconsin

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2013

    Recommended

    First if all I liked it. But I am a biologist. But it is a clever twist on the dysfunctional family theme and also a thesis giving more wind to the halting of animal testing especially on primates. It is like an Uncle Tom's Cabin for Primates. There were some preachy parts, yes, but acceptable since Rosemary had to work through all this herself and she did strive to be very transparent. I loved the references to real live case studies on chimps and the synopsis of their research conclusions. But I also loved the quirkiness of the story. I have to think on this one for a few more days before I move on to a new book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    It Will Stay With You...

    Fowler tells such a believable story about two sisters one human, one chimpanzee raised together since birth that at times I forgot it was fiction. There are images of one heart wrenching segment burned into my mind that I will not soon forget. As a psychology major I had long forgotten reading about this research, then I read it dispassionately at a safe clinical distance. Now, Fowler's book deals with the same subject yet grabbed hold of my emotions and would not let go. So much food for thought here family dysfunction, insecurity, love, ethics, pros/cons of animal research of course, but other questions as well, for example, how can we as adults sort out trauma we experienced as a child? Think about it! Admittedly, some of the philosophical discussion was beyond me, but this book has so much more to offer. Give it a try!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2013

    Good read

    .

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 16, 2014

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    Posted August 12, 2014

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    Posted April 22, 2014

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    Posted September 9, 2013

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    Posted August 9, 2014

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    Posted January 29, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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